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Should I Change My Name After Divorce?

When it comes to divorce, there are a lot of the same questions that go through people’s minds, with one of them being, “Should I go back to my maiden name after the divorce?” There is no right or wrong answer, and there is no particular divorce etiquette that applies because the right answer is very personal.

There are valid reasons to keep one’s married name, and there’s just as many reasons to ditch it. Here are the main reasons why our clients choose to go either way:

I like my married name better.

London or Lemquist? Otter or Wolfe? Bradshaw or Butts? A name may be just a name, but a lot of people beg to differ. Some people choose to keep their married name simply because it sounds so much better than their maiden name.

I want the same last name as my children.

A lot of women decide to stick with their married names because they want to have the same last name as their children. They feel it unifies them and cuts down on the question, “Your kids have a last name, are you divorced?”

I don’t want to change it twice.

Many divorcing spouses haven’t given up on true love and believe that one day, they will remarry and find wedded bliss. In anticipation of a future marriage, they keep their married name so they don’t have to change it all over again when they remarry.

Changing it is too much of a hassle.

When someone changes their name, they have to get a new Social Security card, a new driver license, and new credit cards, etc. Sometimes, the idea of changing one’s name is just too much of a hassle so they leave it alone.

I need it for personal branding.

If a spouse has built a personal brand over their name, changing it can negatively affect their image and their career, so to avoid the headache, they keep their married name.

It brings painful memories.

If a spouse was a victim of emotional or physical abuse (domestic violence), he or she may want to change it back because it stirs up too many painful memories.

I like my maiden name better.

For the same reasons why someone might keep their married name, they may change it back to their maiden name because it sounds better.

I can’t stand my ex.

Some spouses despise their ex and can’t shake their married name fast enough. They find that ditching their married name is invigorating and a lot like removing all of their ex’s pictures and belongings from the house.

If you want to change your last name, you can do it easily when you get a divorce. As a part of your divorce action, a Long Island divorce attorney from our firm can ask the court to let you use any name that you used before the marriage.

Suggested Reading: Your Divorce Checklist

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